Award for a "sensetive, poetic language"

Erich Loest Prize 2021 from the Media Foundation goes to Ulrike Almut Sandig

Leipzig, 3 December 2020. The author Ulrike Almut Sandig has been awarded the Erich-Loest Prize 2021. The Erich Loest Prize was founded by the Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig in memory of the Leipzig autor and honorary citizen Erich Loest. The prize is assigned to 10.000 Euros and is going to be given for the third time now. The award ceremony takes place on 24 February 2021, the birthday of Loest, at Media Campus Villa Ida in Leipzig. The eulogy will be held by Adreas Montag, Head of Department Culture of Mitteldeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

Stephan Seeger, Executive Director of Media Foundation aknowledges the decision of the jury and the award winner: "Ulrike Almut Sandig did not only prove her name through lyric - she also published her first novel, in wich she takes a topic concealed by many people. The confrontation with violence, loss and withhold connects Ulrike Almut Sandig with Erich Loest, the namesake of our prize and the unvorgotten friend and sponsor oft our Foundation. I congratualte the jury to this exellent choice."

"With 'Monster wie wir' ('Monsters like us') Ulrike Almut Sandig has published a fundimental, literary demanding confrontation with the explosive topic of sexual assault in the own family", said the jury. "But Ulrike Almut Sandig does not get the prize for her meanigfull Novel-debut only, but also for her mostly lyrical embossed work", Hartwig Hochstein, head oft he jury and former editor in chief of the Leipziger Volkszeitung newspaper, explained.

The jury:

  • Hartwig Hochstein (head of the jury, former editor in chief of Leipziger Volkszeitung newspaper and member of the Foundation Council of Media Foundation)
  • Dr Thomas Brückner (author and publisher)
  • Thomas Mayer (former chief reporter of Leipziger Volkszeitung newspaper and member of the Foundation Council of Culture and Enviroment Foundation Leipzig)
  • Andreas Montag (head of culture department at Mitteldeutsche Zeitung newspaper.)
  • Andreas Platthaus (head of literature department at Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper)
  • Linde Rotta (author)
  • Dr Katrin Schumacher (editorial manager literature, film and stage at MDR culture radio)

The award winner:

Born and grown up in Saxony, Ulrike Almut Sandig now lives in Berlin together with her family. The first literary text she published was on posters and post cards giving them to people on the street. Sandig's first poem volumes Zunder (Tinder, 2005) and Streumen (Scatter, 2007) were published at Connewitzer Verlagsbuchhandlung Peter Hinke in Leipzig. Next works published by Sandig were Flamingos (2010) and Buch gegen das Verschwinden (Book against disappearing, 2015), and Dickicht (Thicket, 2011).

For her public music performances, she closely collaborates with composers and filmmakers, most recently with the rapper and poet Grigory Semenchuk (Ukraine) and the Rockband Alif (India). In 2017 Sandig was co-publisher of the Yearbook of Lyric, also poet in residence at the University for Music and Dance in Colonge. In 2020, she published her first Novel Monster wie wir (Monsters like us).

The Prize:

Every two years the Erich Loest Prize is awarded by Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig in memory of Leipzig author Erich Loest. The prize is endowed with 10.000 Euros. Erich Loest was close friend of the Foundations of the Sparkasse Leipzig. He was a founding member of Media Foundation and a paton oft he Culture and Enviorment Foundation Leipzig, to wich he gave his literary estate. The Prize aknowledges authors, who not only describe social and political conditions, but also shape the democratic discourse in Germany. The award winners should preferably have a Central German background. Previous award winners are Guntram Vesper (2017) and Hans Joachim Schädlich (2019).

2021 - Erich Loest Prize